Although it might be facing steep budget cuts, the National Park Service is more popular than ever. In 2016, NPS sites counted nearly 331 million recreation visitors, beating the previous record set in 2015. 2017 could break the record again. Including data through March, the total number of visits in 2017 is already outpacing 2016 by 7.57 percent.
These figures highlight the enduring importance of America's parks and the fact that more people are getting out than ever. While overall visitation numbers are up, some parks have been more popular than others.
Using data from the NPS, WanderBat, a travel research site by Graphiq, found the most popular NPS site in every state (and D.C.) by recreational visits. NPS sites include a variety of parks, including national rivers, historical sites and the national parks themselves.
We'll start with a national preserve in Alabama and work our way to Wyoming, where the world's first national park was established. In cases where national parks span multiple states, WanderBat associated each park with the state where its headquarters are based. A small part of Yellowstone, for instance, is located in Montana, but WanderBat did not consider it as that state's most popular park because its headquarters are in Wyoming.
Note: Delaware has one NPS site -- First State National Historical Park -- but did not report visitation figures. Therefore, it is left off of the list.